The Human Resource Development Ministry on Friday decided to form a Judicial Commission to re-examine the sequence of events and verify facts in connection with University of Hyderabad Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide. The ministry made the announcement after the fact-finding committee it set up to investigate the incident submitted its observations in a report. The commission will submit its report in three months, the HRD ministry said in a statement. HRD minister Smriti Irani also spoke to Vemula's mother on Friday and assured her of a just investigation, while the university announced compensation of Rs 8 lakh to Vemula's family.
The ministry has also decided to launch compulsory programmes to sensitise academic administrators about tackling issues faced by "socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged" students. It will also implement a special mechanism to ensure quick action to redress problems faced by these students.
The Hyderabad Police earlier sent the letter, purportedly written by the 25-year-old before he committed suicide, to a forensic laboratory for analysis. Officials said they want to verify Vemula's handwriting and said it would take a few days to get the report, reported PTI. His body was found hanging in a university hostel room on Sunday.
Vemula and four other students of the university were earlier suspended for allegedly assaulting Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader Susheel Kumar. The suspension was revoked by the university on Thursday following widespread protests, but the students were still barred from accessing hostel facilities. Protests are continuing on Friday, with students agitating in Delhi, and Congress workers protesting against Union minister Smriti Irani in Jammu and Kashmir. The students' Joint Action Committee has also demanded the university pay Rs 60 lakh as compensation to Vemula's family.
The Cyberabad Police has named Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Ramachandra Rao and two students in the FIR filed in the suicide case.